(photo: Legia.com/Mateusz Kostrzewa)
15-time Polish champions Legia Warsaw confirmed the signing of Polish international Rafał Augustyniak on Saturday. The 28-year-old midfielder signed a three-year contract with the Wojskowi, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
Augustyniak returns to Poland after three years in Russia. There he played 88 times, and scored 9 goals, for Ural Yekaterinburg. In Poland he played for a handful of clubs, including Pogoń Siedlce, Miedź Legnica, Widzew Łódź and Jagiellonia Białystok.
Rafał made his first and only appearance in the Polish national team under Paolo Sousa, in the Białe-Orły‘s 2-1 defeat against England at Wembley. He was also unused in the World Cup qualifiers against Hungary and Andorra.
“Rafał Augustyniak’s transfer is one of the club’s most important decisions in the summer transfer window. We have acquired a player with a strong mental sphere and the personality of a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room, who will give confidence and stability to the team. Rafał has these features, he is also distinguished by very good motor skills and can play in two positions: defensive midfielder or central defender. I expect that its characteristics will help us achieve better results this season.”Jacek Zielinski; Sporting Director, Legia Warsaw
Legia have been in the market for a central defender since the recent departure of Mateusz Wieteska, to French side Clermont Foot. Although Augustyniak is primarily regarded as a central midfielder, he is adept at playing in the back line.
However, the fact he has been handed the number 8 shirt, rather than the 4 vacated by Wieteska, hints that Legia may well be still to further delve into the market. Serbian defender Aleksander Radovanović has been strongly rumoured to be close to joining the club from Belgian side Kortrijk, days after after the club withdrew their interest in Aberdeen’s Scottish defender David Bates.